Sam Neerhof, Kay Friel, & Daisy Kishler

Sam Neerhof, Kay Friel, & Daisy Kishler

Customer Success Team, US

Google Customer Match for Black Friday 2023

6 October 2023
4 min

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching, retail brands are looking for the best strategies to connect with the most relevant audiences that will drive revenue during this holiday season. 

CPMs continue to explode around the holidays, with spending returning to the more typical and predictable pre-pandemic levels of growth. Last year, Black Friday US retail sales (excluding auto) increased 12% YoY. Retail e-commerce sales grew by 14% YoY and interestingly, in-store traffic increased by 2.9%–more than it has in years–resulting in 12% YoY in-store sales growth. A surprising 67% of consumers planned to participate in Black Friday via brick-and-mortar shops last year (Insider Intelligence, 2022). This momentum will likely continue through this year’s holiday season, meaning it’s as important as ever for retailers to establish (or iterate on) effective audience strategies that connect them with their target consumers both online and, when applicable, in-store.

One effective and accessible way to leverage both online and offline customer data is via Google’s Customer Match. Customer Match (available within Google Ads) helps you to deepen existing customer relationships—or build new ones—across all of Google’s properties in a privacy-safe way by joining online marketing data with offline user-consented data (i.e. CRM). It will enhance your marketing strategies by allowing you to directly target individuals who have already interacted with your business, making your campaigns more relevant and likely to drive conversions. 

Recommended uses of Customer Match this Black Friday

Re-engage online with customers who shop in-store before (and during) Black Friday and share their contact information (e.g. email) at checkout. Additionally, any new and returning online users who consent to sharing their contact information while making a purchase, creating an account, signing up for your newsletter, or joining your loyalty program can also be uploaded via an audience list and targeted through Customer Match. A unique advantage to Customer Match is the ability to combine this user-provided contact information with the powerful consumer behavior data available via Google. Using Customer Match you can retarget users across each of Google’s properties (Search, YouTube, Shopping, Display, and Gmail) based on their interactions with your ads (via Google Ads) and website (via Google Analytics). 

  • Create personalized Gmail campaigns for your customers who share their Gmail email addresses with you. 
  • Reach your customers with relevant Black Friday promotions on YouTube to drive in-store and online sales. 
  • Show up higher in Search results for customers with the highest conversion likeliness.
  • Remarket to existing customers with Black Friday deals based on their previous purchase history.
  • Retarget users who have maybe not yet converted but continue to show high intent and have a high likelihood of conversion but require a reminder or two to bring them over the finish line.

Notable changes to Customer Match (2023)

In the current privacy-centric consumer environment, we know reaching the right audiences at the right time has become more of a challenge and has shifted focus more toward first-party data audience strategies, like Customer Match. With this year’s expected increase in online and offline Black Friday traffic and sales, it’ll be crucial for marketers to tap into these resources to target relevant customers with tailored promotions, with the goal of higher engagement and increased sales. Leveraging this first-party data via Customer Match will enable you to personalize marketing, allocate resources efficiently, and enhance customer experiences. 

With privacy in mind, there have been some recent changes to Customer Match to make it a more durable, privacy-safe solution. The main takeaway from the updates is that Customer Match targeting is transitioning to an entirely automated solution. This means that Customer Match is no longer available for manual bidding (i.e. campaigns not using Smart Bidding). Additionally, Similar Segments (formerly Similar Audiences) for Customer Match, and all audiences, has been completely automated as well.

It’s no longer possible to manually apply Similar Audience lists, however, ​​Smart Bidding-enabled campaigns now automatically include all Customer Match lists to boost ad campaign performance for your goals, like conversions. As long as the account is opted in, uploading Customer Match audience lists, and using Smart Bidding, Google AI will automatically target users similar to the users in the lists you upload via Customer Match while optimizing overall campaign performance. Ultimately, these updates mean really leaning into Google’s AI and automation in order to get the most out of your customer data on relevant Google-owned properties, such as Google Shopping, for this coming Black Friday. 

You can review the latest updates to Customer Match in the Google Ads Help Center here.

In Conclusion

Maximize the 2023 Black Friday by leveraging the renewed and enhanced Google Customer Match. Embrace the integration of AI and automation for a superior, targeted, and efficient marketing campaign, ensuring you reach the right audiences at the right time. Not sure how to get started? Our team would be happy to help!

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